Original Vietnam War Era US Navy Rare HGU-20/P Clamshell Fighter Pilot Helmet by Robert Shaw Controls Co - Dated 1970

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Now this is an incredible helmet and piece of history! The United States Navy Type HGU-20/P Protective Flying Helmet is a "clam shell" hinge designed helmet. It features a white plastic outer shell with flip up clear plastic visor and smoked sun visor, black plastic liner adjustment knob on right side, visor knob on each side, helmet latch on each side, internal microphone, sage green nylon covered oxygen hose, green and white striped reflective tape on helmet. There is evidence of a US Navy decal on the front of the helmet, but it was removed and only left the residue.

The helmet is in wonderful condition and as far as we know, fully functional in the aspect of appearance. This is an extremely rare helmet, one of which a modified version was even used by NASA. The HGU-20/P Robert Shaw Controls Co. helmet differs from other protective flying helmets in that it is a closed type with a built-in oxygen system. It was intended to eliminate the need for an oxygen mask and to provide improved helmet retention under windblast. The helmet entered fleet testing in 1965 and was popular with attack squadron aircrews. However, it was withdrawn from service in 1971 because it restricted the pilot's vision in combat.

At the end of the 1950's, the APH series helmets introduced a new generation of flight helmets characterized by the external visor covered with a protective shield. Improvement of the communication system, internal liner and oxygen mask retainers was also made and in some versions the dual dark and transparent visors system was installed. These types of helmets were the US Navy and USMC standard jet aircraft headgears during the 60's and throughout the 70's. In this period the first development of a flight helmet incorporating the Visual Target Acquisition System (VTAS I) was also made. During the late 60's, flight tests were performed to verify the suitability of a full face "Clam Shell" helmet designed to eliminate the oxygen mask and to give better protection during ejection.

The U.S.N. HGU-20/P (designation assigned in 1968) was developed from the AOH-1 program. The US Navy program called the Aviator's Oxygen Helmet (AOH-1) led to the development of integrated oxygen breathing and crash protective helmets. This prototype helmet was designed to protect jet pilots, especially during high-speed bailouts. It simply integrated the O2 breathing into the area around the front of the pilot's face, which was sealed off from the rest of the helmet by an air-damming seal. The AOH-1 was eventually rejected because it was cumbersome and hard to put on quickly during alerts.

This is a wonderful helmet and it comes more than ready for further research and display!

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